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Protease Inhibitors Differentially Regulate Tumor Necrosis Factor-induced Apoptosis, Nuclear Factor-kappa B Activation, Cytotoxicity, And Differentiation.

M. Higuchi, S. Singh, Hedy Chan, B. Aggarwal
Published 1995 · Biology, Medicine

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We investigated the effect of various protease inhibitors on several tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-mediated cellular responses. Treatment of a human myelogenous leukemia cell line, ML-1a, with TNF in the presence of cycloheximide triggers endonucleolytic activity and apoptotic cell death within 90 minutes. The general serine protease inhibitor diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) and the chymotrypsin-like protease inhibitor N-tosyl-L-lysyl chloromethyl ketone (TPCK) completely abrogated TNF-induced DNA fragmentation and the formation of apoptotic bodies. However, 13 other protease inhibitors, including serine protease inhibitors, did not. The addition of TPCK to cells 30 minutes after TNF treatment completely inhibited the cytokine action, indicating that TPCK-sensitive proteases are not involved in the early stages of signal transduction. TNF is cytotoxic and induces differentiation in ML-1a cells after a 3-day incubation. TPCK had no effect on the TNF-induced cytotoxicity and differentiation, indicating that TPCK-sensitive proteases are specific for DNA fragmentation. TPCK also blocked TNF-induced activation of nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B. The dose-response and the time-course of the inhibitor, however, indicated that the site of action of TPCK for NF-kappa B activation and for DNA fragmentation are quite distinct. Therefore, we conclude that TNF activates two distinct TPCK-sensitive pathways, one leading to apoptosis and the other to NF-kappa B activation.
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